Readings showed a rise in the potent greenhouse gas from 2012 to 2015, and the region’s boom in natural gas production is likely to blame. New research shows a recent three-year surge in methane levels in northeastern Pennsylvania, a hub of the state’s natural gas production.
After sampling the region’s air in 2012 and again in 2015, researchers found that methane levels had increased from 1,960 parts per billion in 2012 up to 2,060 in 2015, according to a study published Thursday in the journal Elementa: Science of the Anthropocene.
During that span, the region’s drilling boom slowed and natural gas production ramped up. The researchers said this shift in gas activity is possibly to blame for the spike in methane levels.